Advanced Search

The Basic IllusionistClick to magnify
Quick Preview
Full‑size Preview

The Basic Illusionist


The Basic Illusionist is a 34-page sourcebook for illusions and illusionists in Swords & Wizardry and other OSR-style games. Everything you need to play or GM an illusionist is included in one book.

The Basic Illusionist includes:

  • the illusionist class;
  • montebank class variant;
  • types of illusions and their effects;
  • guidelines for running illusions for both players and GMs;
  • 156 illusion spells of levels 1-9 in Swords & Wizardry format, including nearly every illusion spell from First and Second Edition and a selection of new spells from more recent sources, all completely edited for compatibility and OSR suitability;
  • conditions, or disadvantages, revised for the Swords & Wizardry ruleset;
  • two illusion-related monsters, the psyche fungi and the piscidine, and the imago creature template for Swords & Wizardry and other OSR-style games.

From The Basic Illusionist FAQ:

Q - What is the most important thing to know about this book?

A – This book is not what it might seem. First and foremost, this is a book of choices. Great pains have been taken to not create new rules, restrictions, or requirements. Adding this book to your current OSR game should not make it more complex or cause your Referee to develop many more headaches or involuntary tics than usual.

The Basic Illusionist is an OGL product and 100% Open Game Content.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (1)
Discussions (2)
Customer avatar
Bruce L January 16, 2024 9:58 pm UTC
Did the author ever publish the "Complete Illusionist" book? Cheers!
Customer avatar
Nathan I March 20, 2024 6:10 pm UTC
(Hi, the author here!)
Short answer: No.

Long Answer: I'm actively looking at doing an expanded print version of The Basic Illusionist. I'm not sure I have the wherewithal anymore to really do The Complete Illusionist justice as I intended to, but I do have more material and it seems reasonable to include it if I'm redoing the layout for printing (I purposely kept TBI to 32 pages back in 2013, but I don't feel that's a necessary limit anymore.) I'll keep the current TBI more or less as it stands and free, and do the extra in a pdf appendix of something - haven't puzzled it out yet.
Sorry it took so long to get back to you, but thank you so much for the interest!
Customer avatar
Ricardo M July 24, 2020 6:28 pm UTC
Maybe Darkwater Press should consider a print option for this book, either here in DTRPG or in lulu or in amazon.
Customer avatar
Nathan I August 09, 2020 5:48 pm UTC
I've considered it in the past, but life events didn't allow the attention or time, and frankly the whole memory of writing and formatting was just too recent. Things have settled down now though, and I'd love to do it. I'll take another look at it. I'd love to see it in print!
Browse Categories
$ to $
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!
 Recent History

Product Information
Publisher Stock #
File Size:
4.41 MB
Original electronic Click for more information
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Information
Watermarked PDF Click for more information
Watermarked PDF

These PDF files are digitally watermarked to signify that you are the owner. A small message is added to the bottom of each page of the PDF containing your name and the order number of your purchase.

Warning: If any files bearing your information are found being distributed illegally, then your account will be suspended and legal action may be taken against you.

Here is a sample of a page from a watermarked title:

File Last Updated:
November 26, 2014
This title was added to our catalog on November 26, 2014.